8. A Witness to the World

In Your Bible Read This Out Loud Matthew 5:14-16.

Memorise This Verse 1 Peter 2:12 ‘Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us’.

Afterwards Talk About This The role of good deeds in strengthening the preaching of the gospel.

Something To Do Before Next Time Do a good deed to extend the Kingdom.

Written Diploma Work Write one side on the benefits of performing good deeds to both Christians and Non-Christians.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse 1 Peter 2:15

The economic lifestyle that God has instituted into his Kingdom will produce a unique community on the earth which motivated by his love will finance good deeds into two areas.

  1. Good deeds by the people of God to the people of God.
  2. Good deeds by the people of God to those outside the Kingdom.

Both of these types of good deeds when fully financed and properly performed by the people of God will provide a massive strengthening to the preaching of the gospel.

As both areas are considered below it becomes apparent of the great need for the people of God to fully finance and invest in the good deeds that God has ordained his church should undertake failure to do so will hinder the spread of the gospel.

The Apostle John records in his gospel in chapter13 verse 35 the words of Jesus that are quite possibly the greatest strategy on world evangelism in the bible namely that the whole world will be impacted by the Kingdom of God when the children of God love each other.

We have seen previously however that true love will have accompanying good deeds and in his first epistle, John expands what it means to love by referring to these accompanying actions and practical acts of love and kindness.

Consequently, the more Christians love each other, and in particular the more that rich Christians love poor Christians and prove this love by funding good deeds, the greater will be the witness of the church.

John 13:35 ‘All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another’

1 John 3:18 ‘Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth’

Take for example the church in North Africa which is relatively young and is often persecuted and resisted by the majority Muslim religion in that area. Would it not be a powerful witness if rich Christians from Europe and North and South America provided funds to enable these Christians to buy lands to build churches, orphanages, computers and learning facilities?

What a witness it would be to the Muslims if they saw Christian mercy ships pulling into dock laden down with goods to help their fellow Christians. As the body of Christ worldwide releases love and good deeds amongst itself it will undoubtedly strengthen the witness and testimony of the church worldwide.

The second area of good deeds that strengthen the preaching of the gospel are good deeds performed by Christians to non-Christians :- consider again the church in North Africa with it’s majority Muslim religion. Would not the preaching of the gospel to the Muslims be strengthened if at the same time the Christians built hospitals and treated sick and infirm Muslims as well?

Would not more Muslims be attracted to our message if we built orphanages and looked after abandoned, destitute and handicapped children and provided food and clothes for them as well? Would not the church grow in these areas if Christians went into Muslim villages with truck loads of aid and drilled wells to provide clean drinking water?

The below two quotes are the words of Jesus and Peter respectively and they have a striking similarity to their message – namely, that good deeds have a large effect in their witness to unbelievers. In fact, both scriptures show that good deeds, financed and performed by Christians in front of non-Christians will have such an impact on the non-Christians, that they will actually praise the God they neither know or serve for the deeds performed by his children.

If, as the below scriptures show, non-Christians will be won for Jesus by the good deeds performed by Christians alone how many more will be converted when the gospel is preached as well!

Matthew 5:16 ‘Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven’

1 Peter 2:12 ‘Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us’.

Non-Christians can mock and ridicule our beliefs, they can pour scorn on our boring and irrelevant church services and laugh at attempts to evangelise and preach the gospel. However,

1 Peter 2:15 says, ‘For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the talk of foolish men’ therefore the way to shut the mouths of those who criticise us is through performing good deeds and acts of love.

Let us pour burning coals on the heads of those who hate us by doing good and investing our money in acts that extend the Kingdom of God. The one area the non-Christians can never mock us for is when we reach out with the love of God and do good deeds to those around us – especially when we are prepared to put our money where our mouth is finance these acts of love.

A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations

Pray for Bangladesh

129,155,152 people, 0.72% Christian

Overpopulation & natural disasters have led to poverty, malnutrition & illiteracy.

This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.

The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.

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